Friday, November 4, 2011

cupcakeMAG chats with celebrity trend expert & PR maven -- Rachel Florio-Urso!

When I went to write this intro, I pulled up my email and searched Rachel's email address. With hundreds of emails between us - I was shocked to realize when I looked at the very first convo between us to see it has been exactly 2 years today (click screen shot below!) since I have had the amazing privilege to work with this PR maven, Rachel Florio-Urso. It is our official "friendversary" (not to mention my wedding anniversary too!) and makes the perfect day for me to share this interview! 

Rachel Florio-Urso is one of most driven ladies I have worked with; she has passion, dedication, and not to mention, a turn around of like .2 seconds when it comes to emails. She is seriously - just amazing. I call her my go-to-gal because it is such a pleasure to work with someone who is so great at what they do and gets you things in flash-- sometimes, even overnight. Rachel is a miracle worker who bleeds perfection when it comes to the world of Littles! 

I could honestly type an entire page of how great she has been over the last two years but I won't bore you! Instead, just read our interview with Rachel below. You will soon see exactly why we not just value her friendship but simply adore Rachel.

{1} Tell us, what is a day in the life of Rachel Florio-Urso like? 

Where to start...?   

I kiss my husband, Robert goodbye at 7 AM as he heads off to work and one hour later it’s as if the timer starts the countdown! I text my oldest daughter to make sure she made it home from another late night college party and to see that she is up and not missing class. I then check to see if my other daughter made it to high school on time. After I know the girls are all set, I wake my son, get him dressed, fed and on the bus to elementary school. Then the dog gets walked, the beds get made and my work day begins. At my desk, I weed through an average of 500 emails daily, update my many SM accounts and meet numerous deadlines to gain brand recognition for my clients. Additionally, I am always forecasting trends and speaking with A-list celeb reps in order to gift them appropriately. FYI, paying to place your brand in a gift basket does NOT mean the celeb has it and it certainly doesn’t mean they wanted it or love it. Don’t be fooled!  

If I’m not traveling on a plane, train or in a car for my many meetings I am at my desk and often work through lunch. I think the phrase “There aren’t enough minutes in the day” was meant for me. I’m sure most of us working moms feel the same! I keep many lists and I am extremely organized so that keeps me sane. There is never a day that I don’t get to post a few media plugs on my site. Follow me on FB, Twitter or LinkedIn and you will see what I mean. I also started a new blog called, “Keeping up with Rachel Florio PR and the In’s and Out’s of the Biz”. These are somewhat informative yet personal posts when I have the time to share. I told everyone Jessica Simpson was pregnant last month and last night her rep emailed me the confirmation before People posted it. This is why you might want to follow me! 

After seven hours of typing, calling and meeting it is time to get my son off of the bus, get him a snack and spend some quality time together while going over his homework and then it’s back to my desk. Shortly after, I cook dinner and take care of the rest of the family while continuing to work from my iPhone or iPad. Dinner is our time to discuss the events of the day and to add sporting events, birthday parties and college tours to the calendar. I have a NO tech device rule in my kitchen and my dining room and the kids know that’s a rule not worth arguing over. When my two wonderful step children are home I am sure to give them some undivided attention as well as making it to all of their sporting events too. All of our kids know they are all loved equally! After everyone is off to bed the laptop is used for my late night Tweets and LinkedIn updates. You can find my Tweets at 2AM. It’s all crazy, but it’s also all great! I have my hobbies like riding horses, kart racing or sailing and we find time for family vacations (and staycations). We make it work! 

{2} What challenges do you face as you are running a major PR firm while running a household? 

I appreciate you calling my firm “major” - it didn’t happen over night! Hard work really does pay off. I am a very passionate person and if I believe in something I want to share it with the world. Someone once told me I could sell ice to Eskimos and while they might be right, I would only try to sell it if it was the very BEST ice an Eskimo could buy! I have always loved a challenge and doing all that I do is definitely a good one. I have owned my public relations business for over a decade now so it’s a part of me. Without it I think I would feel lost.  

A key component in achieving this level of success has always been my drive, determination and relationships I have built in this industry. I don’t give up until I close a deal and being selective as to the brands that I take on has allowed me to gain the respect of my fellow media members. Editors can rely on me, celeb agents trust me, bloggers know I have the goods and my clients love the press and connections that I make for them. When everyone is happy, I am happy! That is what really keeps me going. As cliché as it is, I can honestly say the bigger reward is not from the retainer, but rather from the “thank you” that someone gives me. I truly love to help people. I’m a proud humanitarian that knows we are all here for a short time and at the end of the day there isn’t anything more important than making someone happy.  

{3} How did you become so passionate as a celebrity trend expert? 

My world revolves around babies and children. I solely focus on a niche market: the baby and children market. Robert and I have five kids between the two of us ranging from ages eight to eighteen. It’s a juggling act, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. We are actually trying for baby number six! There isn’t a five minute period in my day where I am not looking at maternity, baby and child images, write ups or brand samples. I loved being pregnant. I loved having babies. I love children. I love my teens (even when they push mom to her limits!). I have produced and hosted over 40 television segments as a celebrity trend expert and I have enjoyed every one of them as much as my first! 

{4} What trends are you predicting for 2012?  

This is always my favorite question…  

You will be seeing more modern styles with clean lines when it comes to nursery and kid room furnishings and accessories. Bold colors and graphic prints will be even more appealing in 2012. I happen to love fluff and anything girlie or vintage inspired so I am proud to say this classic style is always here to stay. It’s not always about the trend. Each consumer has their own sense of style and as I always say, “be bold and mix it up”! If you enjoy the comforts of the things that surround you, you have successfully selected the right purchases for you.   

{5} Can you tell us about your latest project? 

Designer Diaperz! Watch for them as they will be all over the media and on a shelf near you soon! You can follow Designer Diaperz on Facebook or Twitter. This is a brand that I have dreamt about over the past seven years and I have been working on its launch with my partner, Robert Croak of Silly Bandz, for the past year.  

I wanted to be the woman that evolved the diaper world by introducing fully printed diapers. When I was offered to pitch my brand on Shark Tank I learned that other diaper manufacturers finally caught on and tested the market. I was devastated for about two minutes! When I saw them, touched them and noticed their price point I felt that much more excited and ready. So much so that I opted out of finalizing my Shark Tank paperwork and jumped on a plane to Toledo to meet with the man that made it big by creating the kid craze brand, Silly Bandz. I knew he was the perfect fit! Currently we are packaging our diapers and will be ready to roll them out soon. If any of you see a crazy lady in the diaper aisle of your local supermarket taking pictures of herself posed with diaper packages that would be me! I really think I will faint walking through a store that is carrying our brand! 

{6} What is up next for you?  

I am in talks with a few networks as I hope to gain my own show and hopefully another baby! Only time will tell. In the meantime I feel blessed to be able to do what I love to do on a daily basis! 

If you aren't already - make sure you LIKE Rachel Florio PR on Facebook, follow her on Twitter and sign up to receive blog updates! And, as Rachel always says....."Smile and Pass it on...." 

{All Things Rachel}

Thanks Rachel for this interview, for your friendship, and for just -- being you! 

1 comment:

  1. Working with Rachel has been so wondering! She is always working hard for me, her business, and my brand! I always get so excited when I get emails from her, it makes my day!

    She has helped me so much with SwimZip: and all of the press I get which you can find on SwimZip's press page:

    Thanks Rachel!! I hope you can gain your own show now, you're a super star I know you'll do great! XOXO



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